Haryana: Congress, JJP prompt each other to push for floor test - Hindustan Times

Haryana: Congress, JJP prompt each other to push for floor test

By, Chandigarh
May 09, 2024 09:32 AM IST

Congress and JJP prompt each other for a floor test to bring down BJP government in Haryana, but Congress hesitant to join hands with former BJP ally JJP.

The two largest opposition parties in the Haryana assembly, the Congress and the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) on Wednesday prompted each other to make the first move to push for a floor test to bring down the minority BJP government in the state, sending a clear indication that the toppling Nayab Singh Saini government, which has a tenure of less than six months, is not the opposition’s priority. The reason: Disinclination of the Congress to join hands with the JJP, a former BJP ally, and serious doubts on JJP leadership’s ability to keep their flock together.

The Congress has a strength of 30 MLAs and the JJP has 10 MLAs in the House. (HT Photo)
The Congress has a strength of 30 MLAs and the JJP has 10 MLAs in the House. (HT Photo)

The Congress has a strength of 30 MLAs and the JJP has 10 MLAs in the House. Three Independent MLAs who were backing the BJP in the assembly on Tuesday announced the withdrawal of their support, triggering a political upheaval.

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Leader of Opposition in Haryana assembly, Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Wednesday told HT that if the JJP is not the B-team of the ruling BJP, it should immediately write to the governor articulating its opposition to the continuation of the minority government.

“If the JJP writes to the governor that they will not support the BJP in the assembly, a Congress delegation will meet the governor to seek a vote of no confidence against the BJP ministry. This government is now in minority,’’ Hooda said.

On a question of whether the Congress would shake hands with the JJP to form the government, Hooda said that the President’s rule should be imposed in the state and an election should be held.

Former BJP ally and JJP leader Dushyant Chautala while speaking to HT said that the Congress being the single largest opposition party in the House should make the first move and meet the governor. “If the Leader of Opposition thinks that the BJP government needs to be brought down, the JJP will extend its support to bring it down,’’ Dushyant said.

Political experts said that Congress would not like to stake a claim to form the government with the support of the JJP as it considers the latter a liability. “The resentment and protests being faced by the JJP leadership during the Lok Sabha poll campaign makes the JJP a liability. Why would the Congress attempt to be seen as joining forces with the JJP, a party which is facing strong anti-incumbency in the state?,’’ said a Congress leader.

Prof Ashutosh Kumar, a political scientist at Panjab University, Chandigarh, said that the Opposition would be keen to weaken the government rather toppling it. The longer the BJP stays in chair, the higher would be the anti-incumbency sentiment against it. The focus would be on the forthcoming Assembly elections where there would be a bipolar contest, Prof Kumar said.

“Congress won’t bring down the BJP government as its strategy would be to weaken the government in public perception. The Congress would like the present government to be in doldrums and pay the price of being the incumbent. It is a perception game. The withdrawal of the support of Independent MLAs to the ruling BJP is good optics for the Congress given its timing,’’ he said.

Prof Kumar also said that Hooda being instrumental in getting the three Independents withdraw support from the BJP would strengthen his position in the faction-ridden Congress.

The assembly arithmetic

Political analysts said that since one JJP MLA Jogi Ram Sihag has announced that he would campaign for the BJP and at least two JJP MLAs - Devender Babli and Ram Kumar Gautam who are exploring ticket opportunities for the assembly elections are in touch with the BJP leadership, a JJP whip to vote against the BJP during a floor test, may actually not yield desired results for the Opposition.

As of now, the BJP has 40 MLAs in the 88-member assembly. Of the 90 seats in the House, Karnal and Rania assembly seats have fallen vacant due to the resignation of former chief minister ML Khattar and independent MLA Ranjit Singh respectively.

So going by the 88 MLAs in the House, the BJP would need 45 to pass the floor test. The BJP with 40 MLAs can still count on the support of Independent MLA from Prithla and Badshahpur, Nayan Pal Rawat and Rakesh Daulatabad respectively besides Gopal Kanda of the Haryana Lokhit Party. However, even then it would get the BJP to the 43 mark, two short of a simple majority. However, if three JJP MLAs choose to abstain from voting, then the BJP would only need 43 votes to win the floor test out of 85 MLAs present and voting. “It would be a huge letdown for the Congress if the BJP manages to win the floor test,’’ said a party leader not willing to be named.

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